Trump Bans Transgenders, Thrill Ride Death

About Face: Countermanding an Obama-era directive, President Trump announced a decision to prohibit transgender people from serving in the military.

He tweeted, in part, “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you.”

It’s been reported that the announcement came as a surprise to the commanders of all the military branches.

The announcement outraged gender rights activists as well as members of Congress from both parties. Arizona’s John McCain said, “There is no reason to force service members who are able to fight, train, and deploy to leave the military — regardless of their gender identity.”

Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was peppered with questions, including what happens to transgender people serving openly in the military now. She answered, “As I’ve said before and I’ll try to make this clear, this was a military decision, this was about military readiness, this was about unit cohesion, this was about resources within the military, and nothing more.”

Faint Pulse: Seven Senate Republicans defected from the party line yesterday, shooting down the “clean repeal” bill to simply kill Obamacare and figure out a replacement later. The vote was 45-55.

The astounding thing is that 45 US Senators voted to take health insurance from 30 million Americans.

Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee said you can’t just cancel insurance with no other plan. “Pilots like to know where they’re going to land when they take off,” Alexander said, “and we should too.”

Republican leaders may try once more with a bill to end the “individual mandate” that everyone must have health insurance and a tax on medical devices that helps pay for Obamacare. They call it “skinny repeal.” Majority leader Mitch McConnell is now looking for 50 Senators who will approve just about anything described as a health care bill.

Class Bully: The NY Times reports that White House staff and advisors are trying to get the President to relax his campaign against Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

For the third day in a row, Trump attacked Sessions, this time for not firing Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe because of his wife’s political connections to Hillary Clinton.

Trump tweeted, “Why didn’t A.G. Sessions replace Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, a Comey friend who was in charge of Clinton investigation but got big dollars ($700,000) for his wife’s political run from Hillary Clinton and her representatives. Drain the Swamp!”

Despite Trump’s indignation, there is no legal or ethical expectation that the spouse of a government official may not run for office and raise money like everyone else.

Nation: One of two men convicted in a 2014 Nevada standoff with federal agents in a dispute over land and grazing rights has been sentenced to 68 years in prison. Gregory Burleson, 53, of Phoenix, was convicted in April of eight felony counts, including threatening and assaulting federal officers, obstruction of justice, and interstate travel in aid of extortion. Burleson was part of a revolt in support of rancher Cliven Bundy, whose cattle were seized by the feds after he refused to pay fees for grazing them on federal land. Burleson is the first of 17 defendants to be sent to prison. — One person was killed and five critically injured after a section of seats snapped off the “Fireball” thrill ride at the Ohio State Fair. The ride had circles of seats at the end of long rotating arms.

Econ 101: Apple supplier Foxconn, a Taiwan company, says it will build a $10 billion factory in Wisconsin that will create 3,000 jobs. Most of Apple’s iPhones are made by Foxconn in China. The company previously promised to build a $30 million plant in Pennsylvania, and never did.

End of the Road: Britain announced that it will end the sale of new gas and diesel vehicles by 2040 to meet its targets for reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases. “It is important that we all gear up for a significant change which deals not just with the problems to health caused by emissions, but the broader problems caused in terms of accelerating climate change,” Michael Gove, the country’s environment secretary, told the BBC.

Tony the Plumber: White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, who has vowed to end information leaks from the administration, said he’s calling the feds after the leak of his financial disclosure form to the website Politico. “In light of the leak of my financial disclosure info which is a felony,” he wrote on Twitter, “I will be contacting @FBI and the @TheJusticeDept.”

When he does, they’ll tell him that his financial disclosure form is a publicly-available document.


Thursday, February 22, 2018

Page Two

Jaw Meet Floor

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Small President

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Cuba Diaries

Sunday, March 13, 2016

An Alphabet of Maladies

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Healthcare Confusion Act

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Freedom from Speech

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Too Big to Fire

Friday, June 19, 2015

More Probable Than Not

Thursday, May 14, 2015

It's Been Said

" 'The enemy of the people,'" was what the president of the United States called the free press in 2017 ... It is a testament to the condition of our democracy that our own president uses words infamously spoken by Josef Stalin to describe his enemies. It bears noting that so fraught with malice was the phrase 'enemy of the people,' that even Nikita Khrushchev forbade its use, telling the Soviet Communist Party that the phrase had been introduced by Stalin for the purpose of 'annihilating such individuals' who disagreed with the supreme leader."
Arizona republican Sen. Jeff Flake speaking on the floor today.

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